Acoustic Tile Restoration

Union Station, Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles Union Station, completed in 1939, stands as a monumental icon in the architectural landscape of the Western United States. Initially a bustling hub during World War Two, the station experienced a decline in the post-war era as rail travel gave way to automobiles and airplanes. EverGreene was chosen to tackle the revitalization of several aspects of the station, starting with the restoration of acoustic tile, the first of a three-stage process. In the second and third phases, we restored the ceiling tiles of the Ticketing Concourse and the Entry Vestibule and Grand Waiting Room.

The restoration process began with a thorough assessment of the existing tiles and extensive testing to determine the best approach for replication and restoration. The tiles were found to be made of calicel, a stone aggregate material that had discoloration and had deteriorated over time. The original calicel material was no longer manufactured, so EverGreene enlisted a team of our plaster craftsmen, technicians, artists, and conservators to create a replica tile that matched the original in color, texture, and thickness. Multiple sample tiles were developed, in various techniques, the samples then underwent rigorous testing, along with a mock-up installation, to ensure that they maintained the accuracy of the original tiles. In total, 232 replacement tiles were cast on-site, while the remaining original tiles underwent a meticulous process of repair and cleaning. The cleaning process was crucial, involving the removal of decades of nicotine, pollutants, and grime, all of which had marred the original beauty of the tiles. Once cleaned, the new tiles were virtually indistinguishable from the historic ones, thanks to our careful inpainting techniques that ensured seamless integration.

This effort was part of a broader initiative to restore the station’s architectural splendor. This project not only restored the station’s original splendor but also ensured its continued relevance as a pillar of modern transportation.